In June, 12 teams of 4-H youth from nine counties spent three days on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus for the 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge. The new program is part of an effort to excite youth about studying agriculture and pursuing agriculture-related careers by fostering learning opportunities and rewarding youth with college scholarships.
The young people worked with mentors and experts to tackle tough issues, including food waste, topsoil conservation and water quality. The top three teams were awarded college scholarships for the research they presented on biofuels (Le Sueur County), insects as food sources (Washington County) and loss of feed in livestock feeders (Meeker County). Judges and sponsors for the challenge included leaders in Minnesota agriculture and agribusiness. You can read more about the teams that won scholarships on Extension’s news website.
The experience culminated with a two-day event that included a judging event, showcase fair, awards celebration, campus tours, and career networking and workshops. Extension plans to grow this program and reach more youth in the coming years, with help from supporters who can make a gift through the Minnesota 4-H Foundation. Gifts also provide scholarships to many other deserving 4-H youth (see the 2015 scholarship winners list).
To watch videos about some of the participating teams and learn more, visit the 4-H Science of Agriculture website.